The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a set of Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs to help employers establish a methodical approach to improving safety and health in their workplaces. Highlights of the recommendations are presented below.
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The recommendations update prior OSHA guidelines to reflect changes in the economy, workplaces, and evolving safety and health issues. The recommendations feature a new format and are expected to be particularly helpful to small and medium-sized businesses. Also new are a section on multi-employer workplaces and a greater emphasis on continuous improvement. Supporting tools and resources are included.
The programs are not prescriptive; rather, they are built around a core set of business processes that can be implemented to suit a particular workplace in any industry.
The OSHA recommendations include seven core elements for a safety and health program:
Hazard identification and assessment;
Hazard prevention and control;
Education and training;
Program evaluation and improvement; and
Communication and coordination for host employers, contractors, and staffing agencies.
Note: The recommendations are advisory only and do not create any new legal obligations or alter existing obligations created by OSHA standards or regulations.
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